Ride 4 Relief tour makes stop in Wichita
First responders all over the U.S deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. That's why the Wichita Police Department is taking part in the Ride 4 Relief motorcycle tour.
Jeff Shepard organized the tour, stopping in 33 states, for first responders and soldiers.
Shepard is a former police officer and firefighter from Washington state. He was diagnosed with PTSD after being shot in the line of duty in 2012 and later involved in I.E.D attack.
He says riding motorcycles helped him fight his PTSD, which led to the first
last year. He decided to continue the tour because it was so successful.
He says he's doing this to reach out to other officers and first responders who might be struggling and bring awareness of PTSD.
"We are normal human beings, too, and it's tough to see the things we see and still expected to go back to work the next day, so give those officers a break, because it's really tough sometimes," said Shepard.
His tour also highlights the work other police departments are doing to help their first responders with mental wellness.
WPD offers mental health services to its department members through the critical incident stress management team and through employee assistance programs.